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Can Omega-3 Fish Oil Really Help You To Lose Weight?

By Dr. Michael Richardson
Updated March 18, 2016

If you’re someone who has long battled being overweight or obese, you may be at the point where you’re willing to try anything to shed those extra pounds. The problem with the weight loss industry is that there are so many fad diets and pills out there that may not be a healthy choice for you or for anyone.

Separating the good from the bad can be difficult because the manufacturers or creators of every weight loss idea want theirs to sell. If you want to lose weight, the best thing to do is to educate yourself on the healthiest ways to reach your goal by working with your doctor.

In the meantime, you might be interested in how omega-3 fish oil supplements can help you bring down the number on the scale. This information can help you decide if fish oil pills are the best option for your weight loss plan.

Fish Oil May Increase Brown Fat

If you’re wondering how increasing your fat levels can possibly help you lose weight, it’s time to understand the difference that occurs when you have brown fat on your body. According to experts, this type of fat is the kind that helps your body burn calories.

As you probably know, you need some fat to stay healthy so it’s ideal that it’s brown fat. Research shows that a high level of omega-3 fish oil consumption is associated with a higher calorie burn. So by increasing your brown fat levels, you can help your body burn more calories, which will result in weight loss if you burn more than you consume.

If taking the omega-3 fish oil increases your brown fat, it makes sense that your metabolism will get a boost, and you may be able to start seeing the pounds come off.

You Can Burn Fat And Build Muscle

Preliminary research shows that simply adding omega-3 fish oil supplements to your diet can help you drop weight and increase muscle in your body. The study looked at the effects of the omega-3s alone and participants did not change their eating or exercise habits.

The results were that people could lose a few pounds of fat and increase pounds of muscle by adding the supplements to their diet. In the study, participants took two grams of the fish oil each day for six weeks.

Continuing with the supplements may result in further weight loss. However, if, in addition to the fish oil, you overhaul your diet by making healthy choices and increase the amount of exercise you get each day, the results will be more profound and could help you reach your goal weight a lot quicker.

Fish Oil Capsules Can Help Control Your Appetite

One of the things that really interferes with your ability to lose weight is controlling your appetite. The more calories you take in that you aren’t able to burn, the more weight you’ll gain. Likewise, if you aren’t burning more calories than you consume, you aren’t going to lose any weight, either. The trick is finding ways to stay satisfied without snacking all the time or eating huge meals.

Most weight loss experts recommend upping your fiber intake because it digests slowly and keeps you feeling full for longer. However, new research shows that popping fish oil supplements may also help curb appetite.

In the study, participants who took two fish oil capsules after a meal were able to feel full longer and thereby reduce their chances of between meal snacking. The reason is that when your stomach is full, your body’s production of serotonin is optimal. When serotonin levels dip, your appetite may increase and your mood will be better, which can also help you control your eating habits.

Minimize Fat Storage With Fish Oil

When you eat and your body doesn’t need all of it for fuel, it gets stored as fat. Your body does this as a way to ensure that if times get lean and you don’t have enough to eat, you can burn through the fat for survival.

Clearly, modern society makes it easy to have a meal anytime hunger strikes, but this ancient mechanism is built in. So what do you do about it? Research shows that taking fish oil pills helps increase insulin sensitivity, which in turn helps your body keep the amount of fat stored down.

When your cells are sensitive to the insulin, they don’t store fat at such a high degree, so helping the system along by taking fish oil supplements can really help some people achieve their goal weight.

Adding Fish Oil To Your Routine

It’s important to talk over the use of fish oil capsules with your doctor before adding them to your routine. At the same time, it’s important to choose the right kind of fish oil. Look for a concentrated pill that clearly states on its packaging that it’s free of impurities and chemicals. Each capsule should ideally contain 750 of omega-3s per pill.

While experts do stand behind the potential weight loss benefits of taking fish oil supplements, they also encourage people to combine them with a healthy and well-balanced diet and a good amount of physical activity each day.

Aim to eat a variety of foods from each food group and get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Weight loss experts also suggest doing a couple of strength training sessions each week to build lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories your body burns, even at rest. In combination with omega-3 fish oil, you should start to see results in just a few days to a week.

Of course, getting omega-3s doesn’t only have to be done by taking pills. There are plenty of food choices that can help you reach your daily intake goals without having to add capsules to your routine.

Many people prefer to get their nutrients from food and many health experts say that’s the best way to do it. Fatty fish is definitely one of your best options when it comes to getting omega-3s. Salmon is a wonderful choice that is easy to find in most grocery stores, but mackerel, herring and trout Pin It are other great options. If you’re not a fish eater, flaxseed, nuts and seeds are other food sources of omega-3s that you might want to try.

Weight loss is never an easy journey, but finding what works for you is the best way to achieve success. The bottom line is that you must burn more calories than you consume and that omega-3 fish oil may help, but that you shouldn’t fall under the idea that it is a miracle that will have you svelte and trim in no time. Use it in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program and you should be happy with the results you see.


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Katherine Hurst
By Dr. Michael Richardson
Passionate about sharing the latest scientifically sound health, fitness and nutrition advice and information, Dr Richardson received his Master of Science in Nutrition from New York University, and a Bachelor Degree from New Jersey University. He has since gone on to specialize in sports nutrition, weight management and helping his patients to heal physical ailments by making changes to their eating habits and lifestyles.

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